Category: mindfulness

To the top

I’m currently reading “The Reluctant Artist” by Karen Kinney. Its a fast read and offers a lot of insight into the creative journey. I highly recommend it. I’m lucky enough to be reading along with a small circle of creative women who work in a variety of mediums. This book seems to speak to all of us at some level.

In her book, Kinney writes about feeding our creativity by consistently showing up which, in turn, creates forward momentum in our creativity. One feeds the other. We always want to be moving forward in our journey, the consistency is what feeds our soul. The problem with this is staying the course. It isn’t easy. Kinney references Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art (another good, quick, read). In it Pressfield writes “The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.

So, if you’re a creative person, there’s this battle going on. You may realize your creativity is very important to you, but you also find that you’re facing resistance too. Maybe you’re finding excuses and making other things more important (e.g. laundry, cleaning the cupboards, etc.). Maybe you’re critical of yourself, your art or your motivation. Granted some¬† “excuses” are valid activities that need to be done, but do they have to be the priority all the time? Is there room in your life to make adjustments? Can you hush the inner self-criticism?¬† Are you willing to change some things to free up extra time and show up for your art practice? The more you show up, the more you’ll accomplish and the more you’ll want to want to show up.

I admit its challenging and I’m always seriously confronting my own resistance. But, I am also showing up. Does it matter if we show up for full day sessions of creative activity? No, small increments of time and attention are equally valuable to conjure momentum.

Think of it as climbing a hill; its steep and you’re tired. If we stop moving our feet, our movement stops. The longer the pause, the more time it will take to get to the top. BUT! we will still be traveling, just not as quickly if we forced our way up. It is the consistency of stepping one foot, then the other, that will get us to the top.

What you see in your future

Life moves too fast sometimes. I know the change in years is a human-made event. Year-to year there isn’t a hard-line to cross. Instead, we all just flow from one minute to the next. I like having the timeline reminders. But, I don’t always like counting the numbers and seeing them add up.

To me changing the calendar allows me to reflect on what I’ve accomplished and visualize what’s to be. Last year at this time, I was excited about a few things that I had planned for the year. I knew I wanted to accomplish some things, but I had no idea how covid or anything else would impact those plans.

There definitely were some disappointments for me in 2021. But, in reviewing the year I reflect on the impact these disappointments had on me. In the end, am I OK? Am I safe? Are my family and friends OK? Are they safe? — My resounding answer is YES! We are all OK. Life is good!

Sitting here on the cusp of a new year, I’m looking forward. There are things I know will happen in 2022. Exciting things. Milestone things. Yet, there is also a lot of unknown. I’m ready to say goodbye to 2021. I’m open for some change, but I’m also cautiously optimistic for the future.

The next time I write here it will be 2022. A new calendar year splayed open before us. Full of opportunities. I’m ending this year wishing you find only happiness and good health on your journey. May you also be grateful for the past, find joy in the present, and be excited to see the future. Tell me what you see in your future?

What is in front

It’s a busy time of year, so many expectations. At the end of the year, you never want to be given “one more thing” to add to your list. But, I got one anyway…

Last week I received an email from the company I host my online classes. They have decided after 10 years in business it was time to close shop. It’s a disappointment for sure, but now what? I just started building online course this year. Because of Covid, it was a necessity for me to help keep income coming in during these trying times. Lots of people converted to virtual methods of working and staying connected. This past year, you probably participated in online learning, social meet-ups, or even participated in one my classes/lectures. I think the technology is a wonderful tool.

Since the announcement, I’ve been spending hours researching and trying to decide what next. I have other things on my agenda for the next 7weeks and don’t have time to learn/set up a new system. I decided, instead, to postpone any decision until I have time to act on it. It’s a disappointment (one of many from this past 20 months), but its OK!

What is the bright side? That’s where I want to go with this. Life is always handing us stuff we don’t expect or want. Have you ever faced a change where you expected the worst, then in hindsight realized it was an amazing opportunity that made you a better person? I know I have. Maybe these challenges are the universe offering an opportunity to change for the better? Are we ready? Yes! this is how I’m looking it.

This is an opportunity for me to check-in with what is behind me to see more clearly what is in front.

 

 

Cross paths along the way

We are celebrating Thanksgiving Day (USA), do you remember last year? We were still in lock down and the first person to get the vaccination wouldn’t receive it for a couple weeks. What a difference a year makes! I write this the day before Thanksgiving and I am scheduled to get my covid booster (3rd shot) this weekend. I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful science works to keep us healthy, because we are now able (for the most part) to travel again. I’m also thankful that I’ve been healthy (knock on wood) these past couple years and my family has been the same. My heart goes out to those who have not been so lucky.

If you have followed me awhile, you know that this time of year I always take time to reflect. I have nothing to complain about. I’ve endured my share of hard knocks, yet here I stand capable of continuing the challenges of life. Giving thanks is a way that I can appreciate what I have and find ways to pay it forward toward those who aren’t as fortunate.

Giving thanks is also my way to appreciate you. I truly thank you for sharing this journey with me.

May our hearts beat strong and kind,
May our journey overflow with magical creativity and joy, and
May we frequently cross paths along the way.
Until I see you again, stay well.


Check out my NEW Redbubble site,
my artwork on a curated selection of merchandise

Bring you peace

As a textile artist, I have plenty of fabric. Even with a closet full, I still find it hard to resist purchasing new yardage when it inspires me. Sometimes I store it away and occasionally pull it out to pet it. If you’re not a fabric person, this may seem odd. I understand, because when I started quilting years ago and purchased yardage I would use it all up before I purchased more for the next project. My friends sort of giggled at my “conservative” approach.

Eventually, I realized that fabric makers have a hold on us. Fabrics usually only have a limited run and then they’re gone … forever. If you purchase a little for a project and decide you need more, you may never find that fabric again. So that’s when my hoarding collecting began.

Sometimes I purchase a fabric just because I like it. Other times, I have a clear vision. That clear vision is what happened with this art quilt, “Seductive Tranquility.” The background is one piece of batik dyed fabric. The horizontal gradient of colors from blue to pink to purple is all one piece of fabric. It reminded me of a sunset and I had to purchase it.

When I made this quilt, I added the mountains, the foreground of grass and the tree. I feel peace when I see this quilt. It reminds me of sitting in a mountain cabin with the building lights behind me and the sun majestically setting in front of me.

Nature can be a very calming and meditative place. But, you have to take time to stop and look. It doesn’t require a big production or hiking adventure. When you see something, like a sunset/sunrise, cloud formations, falling leaves, an acorn in the road, a bird in a tree, whatever …. take a moment and a breathe. Observe, even if for a split second. The tiny respite will bring you peace.

 

The most creative inspiration

Finding inspiration. I feel challenged by it sometimes. I have tons of ideas in my head but where’s the inspiration to create it. I think sometimes we need to go somewhere else, either in our mind or through physically traveling.

Get away. If you could go anywhere, where would that be? Would you come back refreshed? Would you come back inspired? Would you come back ready to start work? Or would you need a vacation from your vacation?

I’m thinking about traveling for leisure next year. There are so many places to see. What place have you been that gave you the most creative inspiration?

Find time to create

A lot of things can be life changing events like getting married, having a child, moving to a new state, death of a loved one, change in career, etc. None of them usually happen to a large group of people at the same time. Its possible that a similar event might happen to a few people around you, but not everyone in your community.

This is what’s weird about what happened with the pandemic, everyone in almost the entire world had some form of lock-down in early 2020. The uncertainty of the event affected all of us. The interesting phenomena I see is that so many people have emerged seeking a new direction. Resurgence in creative activities is definitely one these new missions people are gravitating to. ~ Why? ~

Many of us turned to creative projects to get us through lock-down. Hobby, craft, and hardware stores were booming. Cooking became a fun alternative to binge watching. Musicians were writing songs and performing live on Zoom, YouTube, and other social media platforms. Writers were writing. These are all creative outlets. Many of us found indulging in new (or revisiting old) creative skills was a great way to fill time. (Are you one of these people? — Tell me what you did?) Ultimately, we had time to create and we loved it!!!

Now that we’re getting back to old patterns of routine, the question is do we continue? There are good reasons why the answer should be YES!

Did you know that making art is proven in scientific studies to:

      • reduce the stress hormone cortisol
      • reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety
      • and, improve the connections throughout the brain; making us better thinkers.

Bottom line is being creative can make us feel better. My advice is if you’re craving creative time, then by all means, go find time to create!